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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would it be cruel to raise a Cornish x as a pet? As in, restrict its diet, give it access to a lot of space etc...or would it be cruel because then it would not be doing what comes naturally to it (eat all day)? From what I understand, it's instinctual for that breed to eat and eat so it wouldn't be natural to raise them as a pet, correct? Would it be unhappy in its life if I didn't allow it do do what it was bred to do?
 

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Would it be cruel to raise a Cornish x as a pet? As in, restrict its diet, give it access to a lot of space etc...or would it be cruel because then it would not be doing what comes naturally to it (eat all day)? From what I understand, it's instinctual for that breed to eat and eat so it wouldn't be natural to raise them as a pet, correct? Would it be unhappy in its life if I didn't allow it do do what it was bred to do?
I'd say it just depends on the bird
 

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I'd say it just depends on the bird
Yep. I think so too.
It has been my observation over many decades...that ALL living things PREFER to continue living....at least until such time as when living is more painful than dying.
It is built in to "Nature's Plan".....I GUESS.

No one really KNOWS for sure.
( But...that said....I'd probably EAT him.) :D
-ReTIRED- :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So if I were to end up with one as a chick, I could just raise it as I do my others and see if it exhibits any signs of unhappiness in the way it's being treated? I'm not sure what those signs would be though. How do you know a chicken is upset? Also, the way I understand it, is that by the time it comes to slaughter these guys/gals it really is more painful to live than die...so you're essentially doing the best thing by your bird to humanely kill it? Just trying to do a bit of soul searching before I take this on. I've never killed anything before to eat (I'm a vet tech so I've euthanized plenty of animals but this seems different).
 

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It is a decision that ONLY YOU can make for yourself.
SORRY....but THAT is how LIFE and DEATH are.
I'm sure that you will find an answer that YOU are comfortable with.
Best Regards !
-ReTIRED- :)
P.S. It is a tribute to YOU that you are concerned enough to inquire. !!!
 

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Yes, in my opinion it would be cruel. Even with a restricted diet they are genetically engineered to grow super fast. The poor thing would have a heart attack, dislocated hips, bad legs, ect if you try to keep them around to long. To me thats doesn't sound like a good life.
 

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You have to keep in mind that these birds are very carefully designed to not live long. They grow at an exponential rate and if they are not harvested at a specific time they begin to have health issues as mentioned by Apyl above.

It would be like taking a Border Collie puppy and raising it in a New York high rise apartment. Sure you give it a good life and you walk it and feed it, but that dog has been bred over years to run, chase, herd. It's instincts will take over and it will make your life a nightmare. It will chase kids, other dogs, cats, anything it sees. It will develop behavior issues, just because it wants to work, and can't. It may not sound cruel, but in a way it is.

If you want a pet chicken, then choose one of the breeds that are friendly like Silkies. I have seen photos of people cuddling Silkies, and then following their people around. Even when I have raised peeps and I have held them and played with them when they are young, once they hit maturity they become stand-off-ish and don't want to be handled.

I have raised chickens for about 10-11 years now and I love having them around. They gather around my feet begging treats and follow me around, I have a few that don't mind being picked up and held. I can see the draw people have to keeping them as pets. They stir up their own form of drama as well, but that's all part of the experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have chickens as pets. They are a few different breeds and I wouldn't seek out a Cornish x as a pet specifically. But I know someone who keeps trying to pawn his chicks off on me for free. I just figured I could take them and raise them the same as my pet chickens because I was squeamish about slaughtering them myself. But then I started thinking they may not appreciate being raised as a pet chicken if they are susceptible to so many health problems by a certain age and basically being forced to live in an unnatural state for them. I don't know.
 

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I'd agree it is cruel simply because they are designed not to be treated as a pet. What I mean by that is if you had one that you wanted to give a lot of space you could not let it free range or be in a run with anything in it, not even grass, or it will eat itself to death (its gullet will literally explode - they have no stop switch that is why people raising them only keep food down a few minutes at a time.)

Take for example the turkeys that the president pardons every year. They are the turkey version of Cornish crosses bred to get big quick. They go to a sanctuary where they are used to raise funds by drawing in visitors - the only problem is that their average lifespan after being pardoned is two weeks. Their legs break, their hearts stop, they have other problems... I have heard a lot of people trying to do this at home for pets and having the same outcome. I think it's a bad idea for both the bird and yourself (for your emotional state.) If you want a chicken that can either be a pet or raised for meat there are a lot of breeds that can fit that bill much better than a Cornish X. Even a plain old Cornish! (I have two of those - they are super smart little creatures who always keep the other hens on their toes!)
 

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I think it would be cruel after a certain amount of time... maybe 2 or 3 months in they will start to suffer incredibly due to just not being built to last.
 

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I don't understand all of the negative talk about Cornish x. I raised them for the first time this year and did not lose a single one to any health problems. I butchered all but 3 of them at 8 weeks. I still have the 3 and they act just like all of my other chickens do. They free range and forage all day, not one has exploded yet. They are just huge compared to everyone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
CircleT said:
I don't understand all of the negative talk about Cornish x. I raised them for the first time this year and did not lose a single one to any health problems. I butchered all but 3 of them at 8 weeks. I still have the 3 and they act just like all of my other chickens do. They free range and forage all day, not one has exploded yet. They are just huge compared to everyone else.
I think your situation is unusual compared to what happens to most when they raise them. Have you taken any special efforts with them? Ie: different/restricted diet? Where did you get them?
 

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Bought them from tractor supply. I have always fed them just like I do my other breeds. Started on 20% chick starter/grower then switched to layer and scratch at about 8 weeks. I feed all of my adult chickens about 1/3 of a pound of feed per bird per day and let them free range most days
 

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I don't understand all of the negative talk about Cornish x. I raised them for the first time this year and did not lose a single one to any health problems. I butchered all but 3 of them at 8 weeks. I still have the 3 and they act just like all of my other chickens do. They free range and forage all day, not one has exploded yet. They are just huge compared to everyone else.
I agree. I know folks who have raised these birds for up to 3 years with the rest of their flock. Yes, they are not built for a natural long life but not many hatchery breeds are either nowadays. I've never had any with health issues either and the myths about them exploding and such are just that....these stem from stories of poor husbandry and are not typical to the breed.

Personally, I think it would be cruel to keep it as a pet because they are simply not bred for this purpose...as most other chickens are not either, but that's a discussion for another day. This breed has more mobility issues when they reach their adult size so getting on and off roosts are difficult due to their heavy breasts, avoiding a rooster or other flock member is difficult and they consume as much feed as you allow them to have, so continuous feeders would be a problem.

I'd refuse the free meat birds if I were you because when it comes time to kill one if it is suffering, you won't be able to do it and it will suffer needlessly.
 

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So if I were to end up with one as a chick, I could just raise it as I do my others and see if it exhibits any signs of unhappiness in the way it's being treated? I'm not sure what those signs would be though. How do you know a chicken is upset? Also, the way I understand it, is that by the time it comes to slaughter these guys/gals it really is more painful to live than die...so you're essentially doing the best thing by your bird to humanely kill it? Just trying to do a bit of soul searching before I take this on. I've never killed anything before to eat (I'm a vet tech so I've euthanized plenty of animals but this seems different).
From what I understand, they will get so big that their legs won't hold them anymore, and it really has nothing to do with how much you feed them, it is how they have been bred to grow. I have been on another forum where someone has given little Johnny a cute baby chick, but now it can't walk. Turns out, it was a meat bird that just got too heavy to walk. It's your call, but it does sound cruel to let one get that far along. Especially if you know that is what is going to happen.
 

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Well, if out makes you feel better, i think, when you know three animal HAS to be culled, then you feel better your not just killing him.... I'm fourteen i don't kill animals but in my eyes, if you know that the animal would suffer at a certain age, is almost like your helping him by culling him :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
birdguy said:
Well, if out makes you feel better, i think, when you know three animal HAS to be culled, then you feel better your not just killing him.... I'm fourteen i don't kill animals but in my eyes, if you know that the animal would suffer at a certain age, is almost like your helping him by culling him :)
Thanks for that. I know if I were to see one of them suffering I wouldn't just force it to live. I probably wouldn't be the one doing the culling but my brother in law would come by and take care of it. He hunts so he has no problem with that kind of thing, my husband and I on the other hand are softies and wouldn't be able to.
 

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I agree. I know folks who have raised these birds for up to 3 years with the rest of their flock. Yes, they are not built for a natural long life but not many hatchery breeds are either nowadays. I've never had any with health issues either and the myths about them exploding and such are just that....these stem from stories of poor husbandry and are not typical to the breed.

I'd refuse the free meat birds if I were you because when it comes time to kill one if it is suffering, you won't be able to do it and it will suffer needlessly.
i myself feel that anyone getting farm animals should be ready & able to do what's best for the animal.

what is the difference between a person who hits a dog with a big stick & another person who stands by watching their animal suffer for no good reason other than they don't have the guts to step up to the plate & do what needs to be done?
both animals needlessly suffer
1 suffers because what a person did
the other suffers because what a person didn't do

ok time for me to come on down from my soap box;)

good luck all
may your flock be large
& may your eggs always be many

piglett
 

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Amen, Sister! Scoot over, I'll jump up there! :D

A HUGE pet peeve of mine....animals are a responsibility and good stewardship includes easing suffering, not standing by wringing the hands and acting distressed. To me, that is a show of false compassion...it does nothing for the animal.

Anyone adult enough to own an animal should be adult enough to accept the hard jobs right along with the fun of that ownership.
 
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